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Japan's past vs. China's present

As I've noted before, China fiercely opposes any outside interference in its "internal affairs", yet it never seems to have a problem telling other countries what to do.

Examples include its insistent demands that Japan stop honoring war criminals at Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine, and reject a new history textbook that glosses over atrocities committed by Japanese troops in China. According to China, Japan's choice of textbooks for its own schoolchildren simply isn't an internal affair.

But the irony doesn't stop there. Now, in demanding that Japan renounce its former aggression, Chinese are turning to violence. ABC News reports:

BEIJING Apr 9, 2005 — About 1,000 protesters threw rocks and broke windows at the Japanese Embassy on Saturday after a noisy march by demanding a boycott of Japanese goods to oppose new textbooks that critics say gloss over Tokyo's wartime atrocities.

Protesters shouted "Boycott Japan!" as hundreds of police, some with riot helmets and shields, formed a human wall to keep the crowd away from the embassy. Protesters smashed the windows of a guardhouse outside the fenced compound.
Reuters reports that Japanese businesses were attacked, too:
One group began throwing bottles and stones when they passed a Japanese restaurant, smashing windows with tiles they had ripped from its roof before police stopped them. A second restaurant was targeted later in the evening, with rocks thrown through the window, terrifying kimono-clad waitresses.

...Protesters also attacked a Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi branch and smashed windows before police moved in.
And last Saturday, Chinese mobs attacked a Japanese-owned supermarket in Chengdu, smashing its windows. The threat has become so severe that Japanese companies like Honda are reducing business travel to China due to safety concerns.

Because mass public protests are generally not permitted in China, these riots are occurring with at least the tacit approval, if not the direct encouragement, of the Chinese government, which is eager to portray Japan as unworthy of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. As the BBC reports:
Shanghai's daily Wenhui Bao warns that the dispute may jeopardize Japan's chances of a much-coveted seat on the UN Security Council.

"How can a country which not only cannot correctly handle history, but falsifies history again and again, have the qualifications to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible member of the international community?"
Meanwhile, even as individual Chinese are goaded into attacking Japanese targets, China itself is threatening Taiwan. It recently passed a belligerent new "Anti-Secession Law" that authorizes the use of military force to stop Taiwan from declaring formal independence.

There's no doubt that Japanese soldiers committed shocking, widespread atrocities in China — over sixty years ago. Japan's history textbooks should not ignore that fact.

But it's more than a little ironic to see China, which habitually censors and distorts the news through its state-run media, suddenly championing the importance of factual accuracy. In light of its own current inclinations to violence, China's criticism of Japan looks like a clear-cut case of projection.


Anonymous said...

Think about this: China is not a free nation, where people can say that their government is wrong, or speak critically about their history--ALL of their history. I read somewhere that it's acceptable to criticize the Cultural Revolution--ie, the government has deemed it as an acceptable topic. If you talk to Chinese people, you'll hear them speak negatively about it, but not much else.

Also, they LOVE to talk about how the Japanese are really bad--what they did in the War was horrible, the Chinese suffered etc. But dare to mention anything about what their OWN government has done to their OWN people, and they won't want to discuss it.

This is my theory: the government is using the Japanese (in light of WWII activities) as scapegoats to make their people focus on THEM instead of their own corrupt, controlling, communist system. It's a diversion.

Fact: Japan is our ally. Fact: the Chinese tell their people that the US wants to invade China. Fact: Japan is a democracy. Fact: the Chinese have never voted in an election.

Who is to be trusted? 

Posted by mj

Anonymous said...

good job GaijinBiker!!  

Posted by yama-arashi

Anonymous said...

I dont think to keep digging up and focusing on the past is healthy at all. Just look, Chinese learn to hate the Japanese at such a young age due to their history teaching. I think the Japanese have the right idea to "clear the slate", forgive, forget, and to MOVE ON.

Chinese tactics are sickening! I hope they'll grow up!


Posted by Anonymous

Anonymous said...

I am sure annonymous does not know about what Japanese troops did in China. The atrocities committed by Japan is much worse than what the German did to the Jews.The Jews are gassed to their death but the Japanese:
1. Using live human as bayonet practicing
2. Raping girls no matter old or young.
3. Ripping babies from the abdomen of pregnant women.
4. Biological warefare
5. Experimental with live human,dissecting them alive,freezing live human to experiment.
6. Gas warefare which up to today are still being recovered and still kills innocent people in China.Japan took almost 60 years but unable to get rid of the gas.
7. Atrocities after atrocities committed by Japan.
8. Not to mention comfort lady

I can gladly send you the book on 'The Rape of Nanjing' free of charge.

Do you know why Japan can escape from such crime.It is because of American wanted to use Japan and that is why American keep quiet. The Emperor Hirohito should have been hang for the atrocities but escape because of America.

Posted by annonymous



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